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TOSEC: Amiga CDTV (2009-04-18)

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TOSEC: Amiga CDTV (2009-04-18)


Published April 18, 2009


The CDTV (an acronym for "Commodore Dynamic Total Vision", a backronym of an acronym for "Compact Disk Television", giving it a double meaning) was a multimedia platform developed by Commodore International and launched in 1991. On a technological level it was essentially a Commodore Amiga 500 home computer in a Hi-Fi style case with a single-speed CD-ROM drive. Commodore marketed the machine as an all-in-one home multimedia appliance rather than a computer. As such, it targeted the same market as the Philips CD-i. Unfortunately for both Commodore and Philips, the expected market for multimedia appliances did not materialise, and neither machine met with any real commercial success. Though the CDTV was based entirely on Amiga hardware it was marketed strictly as a CDTV, with the Amiga name omitted from product branding.

The CDTV debuted in North America in March 1991 (CES, Las Vegas) and in the UK (World of Commodore 1991 at Earls Court, London). It was advertised at £499 for the CDTV unit, remote control and two titles. Commodore chose Amiga enthusiast magazines as its chief advertising channel, but the Amiga community on the whole avoided the CDTV in the expectation of an add-on CD-ROM drive for the Amiga, which eventually came in the form of the A570. This further hurt sales of the CDTV, as both it and an A570-equipped A500 were the same electronically, and could both run CDTV software, so there was very little motivation to buy it. Commodore would rectify this with CDTV's successor, the A1200-based Amiga CD32, by adding the Akiko chip. This would enable CD32 games to be playable only on the CD32.

The CDTV was supplied with AmigaOS 1.3, rather than the more advanced and user-friendly 2.0 release that was launched at around the same time. Notably, the CDXL motion video format was primarily developed for the CDTV making it one of the earliest consumer systems to allow video playback from CD-ROM.

Though Commodore later developed an improved and cost-reduced CDTV-II it was never released. Commodore eventually discontinued the CDTV in 1993 with the launch of the Amiga CD32, which again was substantially based on Amiga hardware (in this case the newer Amiga 1200) but explicitly targeted the games market.

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There are over 165 images for the Amiga CDTV, including compilations, homebrew, and applications.

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Identifier Amiga_CDTV_TOSEC_2009_04_18
Date 2009-04-18
Mediatype software
Year 2009
Publicdate 2013-05-11 16:40:47
Addeddate 2013-05-11 16:40:47
Backup_location ia905700_21
Language English

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